December 14, 2019

It's hard for me to listen to new music. I have to force myself to put time into listening to anything new.

It's interesting to be old — I'm almost 69 years old — and to experience my mind as new things happen now and with all my memories of what I did and what I felt in the past. One of the biggest differences I see in myself is openness to new music.

In the 1960s, I had endless openness to new music and was always tuning into the radio to find things. Hearing them once — I remember the first time I heard "I Got You, Babe" (it was on a station that only came in late at night from Fort Wayne, Indiana) — I could instantly bond and know this was good, this matters to me. I would read about music that hadn't been released in America yet and long to get a chance to hear it. I had a photograph of Cat Stevens from a magazine pinned to my bedroom wall at a time when it was not yet possible for me to hear his music.

These days, I still listen to Cat Stevens. In fact, I have one song ("Morning Has Broken") that I play every day. That's how grounded I am in the old things. What I love most is what is repeated.

So I had a hard time trying to be interested in the list my son John made of his "Top 100" songs from the past decade. It's a very carefully and individualistically curated list and the best of an entire decade, and it's my son and I ought to care that a decade is about to end (in 17 days!). But it's so hard for me to begin to listen to something new and to continue. The only way I can open up to it is to listen multiple times. Maybe on the 5th or 6th time, I could bond and feel that this is good and this matters to me. I need the repetition, but how to get to the stage where it is repetition?

One thing is TikTok! When I want physical and mental rest and recreation, I love to sit back and scroll through whatever the TikTok app decides to serve up as "For You." Often, the very short videos have a musical soundtrack, and some audio clips are used repeatedly. So a snippet of music can make it into my head and become liked by my ancient brain.

Here's a good example. I'll just give you 2 videos using the same song clip (which has been used in many other videos, collected here, with embedded video at the top giving you the entire song). The audio clip has been used over 1.5 million times, and I'm giving you 2 from the same person, which says something more about me and repetition:





Here's an example of another video using the clip.



Maybe what I like so much is the sound of a bassoon, and what I liked in "I Got You, Babe" was the oboe.

Isn't a bassoon an oboe that has grown old?

Should I put a Cosmo Scheldrake album in my iPhone so I can bond with it? Does Cosmo Sheldrake deserve that kind of access?

125 comments:

DrSquid said...

That radio station must have been 1190 WOWO. They had a special clear channel license and at night you could get them nearly everywhere. I once picked them up on the ADF of a Navy P-3 in the far North Atlantic. A station in New York bought WOWO just to get that license, which they took and transferred to their NYC station. WOWO still on the air but you can’t get them like those good old days.

Oso Negro said...

What an amazingly lovely and candid post. The creamy hippie love chick center is revealed! You are not alone dear proprietress! I am almost 63 and my musical appreciation peaked at age 16. A couple years ago, I looked at the Billboard Top 100 from 1973. I could immediately sing 97 of the top 100. Went I went off to engineering school in the 1980s my interest in new music withered and died. I have occasionally stumbled across musicians whose entire careers have come and gone while I was not paying attention, eg, The Pogues! (try Rain Street, or Sunnyside of the Street, thought Fairytale of New York is probably more seasonal and accessible). These days, five years is nothing, but the difference musically between being 16 or 11 in 1968 was ENORMOUS. Oh well, let's keep enjoying the stroll into senescence.

Mr. Forward said...

"Isn't a bassoon an oboe that has grown old?"

That had me in stitches.

We used to cultivate music, hoeing out the rows at the record store, investing our weekly budget on two dollar cutouts. Now we have limitless supplies of almost free music. I frequently hear great new stuff, try to remember the names, then when confronted with Pandora and her box I can only remember names gathering dust in my record collection.

Aunty Trump said...

This was a plot point in Interview with the Vampire, at 400 years old, everything he could appreciate was gone. He cured it by drinking the blood of young people.

Aunty Trump said...

Shazam is great for identifying and making a note of music you hear and like out in public.

Wilbur said...

It's funny, I'm a classic Boomer (born in 1954) but for many years I've found 90% of the music of my youth to be banal and insipid. There's a few 60s-70s songs that inspire or uplift me today, but most (90%) are unlistenable to me.

Doesn't mean my taste is better than anyone else's, but it's mine.

Ann Althouse said...

"This was a plot point in Interview with the Vampire, at 400 years old, everything he could appreciate was gone."

I was just listening to a podcast where Joe Rogan brought up exactly that point. Maybe you were too!

It was the one with Lil Duval.

Lil Duval said he was the great grandson of Harriet Tubman.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, you survived January 1, 2000 (who else remembers how airplanes were going to fall from the sky as the clock struck 12 in their time zone?), so you should make it through January 1, 2020.

Ann Althouse said...

"There's a few 60s-70s songs that inspire or uplift me today, but most (90%) are unlistenable to me."

Some of the things I hated to be forced to listen to at the time (when I was listening to radio), I enjoy quite a bit. Notably, soft rock. Prime example: Loggins and Messina.

Some things I could tolerate at the time, I switch away from now when it comes on the satellite radio (where I have a preset on "60s on 6"). Prime example: The 4 Tops.

Aunty Trump said...

No. I think about that movie from time to time.

Aunty Trump said...

Spotify is so much better than Sirius, and it mixes in new stuff with the familiar. Sirius is like set to Jan 1 1960 to Dec 31 1969, but there are so many strands of music in that time, some of it I can’t take, and some of it I still really like.

What I love about Spotify is the ability to listen to an album I might have owned as vinyl in the exact order I used to listen to it. I like to listen sometimes to stuff that I was listening to in that way [on vinyl LP, beginning to end] at significant times in my life. A lot of my favorite albums would get stolen at parties, it seems. OK, borrowed and never returned.

Automatic_Wing said...

I find that the YouTube recommendation algorithm is almost uncanny in offering new music that I like.

Marcus said...

I re-watched "Once Upon A Time ... in Hollywood" with the FWB the other night on Amazon Prime. Great use of music in that flick. When the Stones' "Out of Time" came on, I found myself singing the chorus aloud.

Great times, great music.

THEOLDMAN

Yes, I know some of the music was really bad, but the superior ones stood out.

M Jordan said...

“... it was on a station that only came in late at night from Fort Wayne, Indiana”

I see someone beat me to it: WOWO. I grew up on that station though nearby CKLW out of Detroit/Windsor was much hipper. Do you remember WOWO’s disc jockey John Cigna? He was my favorite. Left for KDKA in Pittsburgh after my high school days were done.

Good times.

samanthasmom said...

I wonder if they've tried introducing dementia patients to TikTok. You don't have to have much of an attention span, and you can just keep hitting replay. They could make little clips to remind the patients of things they need to remember and set them to music. It must be useful for something.

jerpod said...

I always have some song from 40 or 50 years ago stuck in my head. Just this morning, I woke up with the line "for God's sake turn around" rattling in my skull. It took me awhile to come up with the title and artist. I only remember the chorus. But then I hated that song when it was new. I used to think it was just me that this happened to, but I guess it's everybody. Ten minutes later, some synapse fired and I was mind-playing "Bitch" by The Rolling Stones. Much better.

David Begley said...

Today’s pop and rock music is objectively terrible. Rap is unlistenable.

Today’s country music is great. All the creativity is on the country side.

viator said...

Try this

tim maguire said...

(it was on a station that only came in late at night from Fort Wayne, Indiana

I know every generation establishes its own fond memories, but I think this one is losing out by never learning the sublime joy of anticipation.

J. Farmer said...

Today’s country music is great.

What?! Who were some of the artists you had in mind? I am genuinely curious because contemporary country sounds anything but “creative” to me.

viator said...

Another

donald said...

Sunny Side of the Street is a very wistful song. It’s amazing how often that broken down derelict can pull that off.

rhhardin said...

Thai loogthung music is sometimes great.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OABtWPT9pFU&list=PLEF3A2B7040E093E1&index=10

Not the great Pumpang Duangchan piece I was trying to find but has hints of interesting progressions you can find there.

Lincolntf said...

I don't know if it's "Country" per se, but an old Army buddy sent me a link to "I Wanna Be In The Cavalry" by Corb Lund a few months ago, and I listen to it all the time now. Very catchy.

rhhardin said...

Cat Stevens "Into White" and Dixie Chicks "Cowboy Take Me Away" are both good and similar.

J. Farmer said...

I find that the YouTube recommendation algorithm is almost uncanny in offering new music that I like.

I agree. I signed up for YouTube Premium, and the subscription includes their music service. I much prefer YouTube’s playlist curation to Pandora’s.

Birches said...

I think you listened to current music longer than most people your age. I have to admit I was surprised you said you had "Cannonball" on your running playlist a few weeks ago.

I'm almost thirty years younger than you and I have "Cannonball" on a playlist too.

I also just told my husband that I like "Celebrate Me Home" unironically. He said we can't all be perfect. "Danny's Song" is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. I probably wouldn't have liked it when I was younger. Too country.

J. Farmer said...

I was always partial to Cat Stevens’ Oh Very Young

Birches said...

I've been going through a Nineties music phase, listening to all the more popular alternative music I was too good for back then (I listened to punk back then). A lot of Celebrity Skin by Hole and Adore by the Smashing Pumpkins. It holds up well. My favorite band in HS doesn't hold up. I listen to it now and it sounds so pedestrian.

Rory said...

"It's a very carefully and individualistically curated list and the best of an entire decade...."

There's quality as perceived by the audience as a whole, and then a work may touch a certain type of person or one person. Technology shifts have made it so that a person can locate all of the latter sort of songs (or any culture), so that one's favorites list is a lot less transferable to others than it was in the previous century. It won't be long before it's common for artists to create on demand for their micro-audiences. I feel sad, write me a blue one today....

stevew said...

For me the passage of time since my music experiencing and appreciating youth has served to winnow the list of songs and artists from that time that I like and want to listen to repeatedly. That period in my life when I was most open to new music runs from the late 60's when I was 10 years old through the late 90's. Over the past 20 years I've been less attracted to popular music, but also became increasingly bored listening to my older songs. The way I find new songs and artists has changed. I don't listen to music on broadcast radio, I stream through Pandora and Spotify. On those platforms you can create a playlist (Pandora calls it a 'station') based on an artist you know and like (Gary Moore for example) and it will include songs from other similar artists (Buckethead and Peter Green, in this case). I've discovered contemporary artists Jason Isbell, The Milk Carton Kids, The Avett Brothers, & St. Paul and the Broken Bones, among many others, this way.

J. Farmer said...

@rhhardin:

When I lived in Thailand, I had the good fortune of seeing Siriporn Ampaipong perform live several times. She sings luk thung and the more traditional mor lam music. Incredibly haunting voice.

Bob Boyd said...

It's hard for me to listen to new music. I have to force myself to put time into listening to anything new.

I came to that same realization. Sometimes it's worth it.
For example, a song in a movie caught my attention last weekend. I looked it up and listened to it several times. It's actually a Christmas song with a beautiful melody and lyrics that are kind of about the way us old bassoons find ourselves living now, to our sorrow and our Joy..


Shouting Thomas said...

I've played 130 new hymns over the past year.

Working for a different denomination. Their hymnal is entirely different from any other I've played.

Most of it is based on Bach style four part harmony. English airs and Irish laments are big.

This has led me to an in depth study of Bach's organ compositions. This will keep me busy the rest of my life. I'm about to order sheet music for Bach's Complete Organ Works. 10 volumes. Shipping weight 17.4 pounds.

Tank said...

Ann Althouse said...

"There's a few 60s-70s songs that inspire or uplift me today, but most (90%) are unlistenable to me."

Some of the things I hated to be forced to listen to at the time (when I was listening to radio), I enjoy quite a bit. Notably, soft rock. Prime example: Loggins and Messina.

Some things I could tolerate at the time, I switch away from now when it comes on the satellite radio (where I have a preset on "60s on 6"). Prime example: The 4 Tops.


I think you and I have fairly different musical tastes, but I agree with both the gist and the specifics of the above.

paminwi said...

Sirius radio: channel 26 Classic Rock. But, they play too much Elton John and I don’t think of him as rock. Switch to another channel then. (Or when Springsteen comes on - he’s awful!

Howard said...

I listen to very little the music that I used to listen to in high school. Some are completely off the list. Including cat Stevens who I find to be boring and shallow. To be hip with generation z granddaughter high school student I've created a playlist of the top pop love songs from the last 25 years and she loves it and so do I the music sounds great I've hand-selected only the top hits that have that special sound that grabs you.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I ought to care that a decade is about to end (in 17 days!).

If it is worth caring about the beginnings and endings of decades, then it is worth knowing that decades begin at the start of a year ending in 1, and end at the end of a year ending in 0.

Howard said...

The crack MC actually had a big influence on my reinvigoration of music I've never heard before. He's got quite an eclectic taste and that started me off on a long journey through Mingus and the great blues man of his era moondog and my favorite rapper of all time 900 foot Jesus. Liking the same music you did when you were young it's just giving up. You must be satisfied. Lost your appetite. However with this blog unsure and has plenty to chew on




Shouting Thomas said...

I'm incredibly bored with 60s and 70s rock, but then I've played all the tunes with bands so many times I can't stand to hear them any more.

Now that I've been thru an entire liturgical year with my new employer, I'm looking for a professional popular music gig again.

Will probably pair up with a female singer to do standards, i.e., Nat King Cole, Gershwin, Cole Porter, Louis Armstrong, etc.

Shouting Thomas said...

Last night, I sang the Hallelujah Chorus in a huge old stone church with an all male choral group, accompanied by the local high school choir and brass band.

The kids were spectacular. They moved me to tears with their version of "O Holy Night!"

Singing the Hallelujah Chorus with a cast of over 100 was quite an experience. Haven't done that since college. The audience stood throughout, many sang along and they responded with a thunderous ovation.

Great stuff. Most fun I've had in a long time.

JZ said...

The decade’s going to end in a year and ten days.

rhhardin said...

I did homework in high school to Monteverdi's L'Orfeo (Krebs version), and still listen to it. I know every note of the piece, so much so that another version with a different tempo or different ad libitum choices wakes me right up.

Expat(ish) said...

I make a special effort to find new music but keep discovering bands that peaked long ago. Very frustrating.

Latest find: LyricsBorn. Every album a new style. FantAstic.

-XC

Mr. Majestyk said...

Certain unnamed party poopers said:

"it is worth knowing that decades begin at the start of a year ending in 1, and end at the end of a year ending in 0."

and:

"The decade’s going to end in a year and ten days."

M Jordan said...

My daughter’s a classically-trained pianist as is her husband. Both haves a Phd.’s in performance. They live a block away and perform locally several times a year. As a person who grew up with only cartoons and “The Lone Ranger” as classical music models, it’s taken me a long time to really appreciate it but I now do.

Repetition is the key. Classical music is intellectual music at the deepest levels of the brain. Like all music it presents a journey from start to finish but the journey it presents is deeply complex. You need to learn the route before you can truly appreciate it. I still like some rock and I’ve grudgingly learned to like a little country but for me today hearing Grier’s Concerto in A-minor beats them all ... especially if my daughter is playing with an orchestra behind her.

Known Unknown said...

"What?! Who were some of the artists you had in mind? I am genuinely curious because contemporary country sounds anything but “creative” to me."

Agreed. Modern country is very formulaic and inauthentic (to me.)

I use Amazon Prime Music. I make my own playlists. Good so far.

Rory said...

"decades begin at the start of a year ending in 1"

A decade is ten years. One doesn't even have to start on January 1, let alone in a year ending in a specific number.

Iman said...

I don't have much interest in new(er) music, but at 67, every so often do tune in a Jools Holland show and come across something I find interesting. My tastes were pretty standard in the 60s (Dylan, Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, Cream, Jeff Beck, Doors, Love, Canned Heat and other LA bands, Motown). In the 70s, it was Stones, Faces, Little Feat, Allman Bros., Steely Dan,Yes, Bowie, Talking Heads, Petty. 80s it was Devo, Squeeze, Beat Farmers... life turned more serious and focused with responsibilities for a young family and music held less and less interest for me. I saw a lot of excellent live shows over these years... great memories!

I'll still pull out old vinyl and CDs every now and then, when I want to rekindle some memories. I also have more appreciation now for the music of my parent's generation. One thing about music I know to be true: good music is timeless.

gilbar said...

Today’s country music is great.
What?! Who were some of the artists you had in mind? I am genuinely curious because contemporary country sounds anything but “creative” to me.


don't know about the person you were asking this to, but FOR ME;
Lindi Ortega
Sarah Jarosz
Eilen Jewell
The Wailin' Jennys
Hank Williams III
are all pretty great, but

A) Hank Williams III is pretty much just Hank goes to Hell
B) i Like female vocalists, your mileage may differ

Andrew said...

When my kids were younger, I would wake them up for school by playing Morning Has Broken. It was a perfect song to start the day as a family. Sometimes I'd alternate it with Here Comes the Sun. I miss those days.

Iman said...

Yes, Marcus... that Tarantino movie took me right back to SoCal life in the late 60s... the music, radio station (KHJ), commercial jingles, landscape, vibe... every single bit of it. It was fantastic!

Iman said...

"Today’s country music is great. All the creativity is on the country side."

You really think so? I couldn't disagree more. It's mostly garbage to me but to each his own...

SF said...

Not only is a decade just ten years, but it's blazingly obvious that, say, the 1970s is 1970-1979, just as the 1900s is 1900-1999.

This is different than the 20th century, which is clearly 1901-2000. It's two different systems of grouping years. If you wanted to talk about the 202nd decade AD, sure, that ends at the end of 2020. But the 2010s ends at the end of this month.

Dan said...

I think that "Come Along" song was featured in an interesting looking Apple commercial a couple years ago.

I've found that most people's musical taste stops evolving after college age. I know mine has.

Andrew said...

I grew up in the 80's, and enjoyed some of the pop/rock music then. But I've always thought that the 60's and 70's were superior.

One song I still listen to is from The Talking Heads. I think it's one of the most beautiful songs from that era. It's even better with David Byrne's eccentric choreography.

https://youtu.be/HldHtBxNK6k


Lyle said...

I love to travel down the many rabbit holes of music videos on YouTube.

Sydney said...

I find it harder to get exposed to new music. I was never much of a pop music aficionado, but I could still usually identify the current pop trends just from the background music in public places. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore. (I don't subscribe to any of the internet music databases like Spotify. I had Apple Music last year but didn't care for anything that was on their "radio" stations, so never used it except to look up some old artists whose music I was remembering.

gspencer said...

Well, one of the great things about the internet and youtube is that it's

Yesterday Once More (the Carpenters)
over and over and over,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTaWayUE5XA

And you can listen forever to,

Every sha-la-la-la
Every wo-o-wo-o, still shines
Every shing-a-ling-a-ling, that they're startin' to sing's, so fine

Phil 314 said...

He’s not Cat Stevens anymore.

I loved Cat Stevens in Jr. High and I still enjoy many of those (“Peace Train still gives that 60’s hippy vibe even though it was written in the ‘70s)

Having said all that I CANNOT reconcile those songs/that era/my feelings about the songs with the present fact that Cat Stevens is now Yusuf Islam. Islam (the religion) as I understand it and that 60s hippy vibe seems so diametrically opposed.

Ann Althouse said...

“ I think you listened to current music longer than most people your age. I have to admit I was surprised you said you had "Cannonball" on your running playlist a few weeks ago.”

2 things. 1. MTV ... It was new in the 80s. Loved it. 2. After I got my sons interested in listening to 1950s and 60s oldies in the car, they brought their things into the car.

With MTV and the car cassette player, I heard a lot of the music of the time and had some things imprinted on me. My sons were very interested in music.

I got very attached to Rufus Wainwright’s “Poses” in the mid 2000, and that was solely because I kept it in my car CD player and listened over and over.

Phil 314 said...

PS My wife loves, loves, loves Ed Sheeran.

I’m sorry he just doesn’t do it for me.

RMc said...

There's exactly one tune in John's Top 10 I recognize, the Adele song.

Anyway...here's my Top 100 from the 80s, the last decade when I really paid attention to pop music (pardon me if it's illegible):

1 Beat Rodeo Everything I'm Not
2 Adam Ant Goody Two Shoes
3 Prince Let's Go Crazy
4 Wax UK Bridge To Your Heart [Unabridged Version]
5 Madonna Crazy For You
6 George Michael A Different Corner [LP version]
7 XTC The Mayor of Simpleton
8 Bruce Springsteen Hungry Heart
9 Steve Miller Band Abracadabra
10 Ryuichi Sakamoto Risky
11 Prince Controversy
12 World Wire Last Tuesday
13 Echo and the Bunnymen Lips Like Sugar
14 Prince Take Me With U
15 Elvis Costello Veronica
16 Cyndi Lauper Time After Time
17 Gary Numan Cars
18 Joe Jackson Stepping Out
19 Police Every Breath You Take
20 Geoff Hughes Happy Birthday, Kid
21 Jane Wiedlin Rush Hour
22 Omar and the Howlers Dancing In The Canebreak
23 Prince Mountains
24 Tears For Fears Head Over Heels
25 Prince Batdance
26 April Showers Abandon Ship
27 Nails 88 Lines About 44 Women
28 Prince Glam Slam
29 Motels Suddenly Last Summer
30 Diesel Sausalito Summernight
31 Wendy and Lisa Waterfall
32 Talking Heads Wild Wild Life
33 Jane Wiedlin Blue Kiss
34 Stan Ridgway Calling Out To Carol
35 Smithereens Only A Memory
36 Spoons Romantic Traffic
37 George Harrison Got My Mind Set On You
38 Sparks Eaten By The Monster Of Love
39 R Stevie Moore I Love You Too Much To Bother You
40 Toto Africa
41 Rockpile Teacher Teacher
42 Prince I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man
43 Prince Raspberry Beret
44 Roy Orbison You Got It
45 XTC Dear God
46 Billy Joel An Innocent Man
47 Beastie Boys Paul Revere; Hold It Now, Hit It
48 Geo Girl From Another World
49 Was (Not Was) Spy In The House Of Love
50 Wall of Voodoo Mexican Radio
51 a-ha Take On Me
52 Paul McCartney My Brave Face
53 Crowded House Don't Dream It's Over
54 Smithereens Blood And Roses
55 Adventures Send My Heart
56 Rick Springfield Rock Of Life
57 Prince 4 The Tears In Your Eyes [LP version]
58 Grandmaster Flash White Lines (Don't Do It)
59 Fishbone Slick Nick (You Devil You)
60 Call Let The Day Begin
61 Wang Chung Everybody Have Fun Tonight
62 Louis Armstrong What a Wonderful World
63 Sparks When I'm With You
64 Figures On A Beach No Stars
65 Bruce Springsteen Brilliant Disguise
66 Dukes Of Stratosphear 25 O'Clock
67 Boz Scaggs Heart Of Mine
68 Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer
69 Stompin' Tom Connors Hockey Game
70 Rupert Holmes Him
71 Wildman Fischer Outside The Hospital
72 Prince Housequake
73 Billy Ocean The Colour Of Love
74 Call I Still Believe (Great Design)
75 Weird Al Yankovic One More Minute
76 Squeeze Another Nail For My Heart
77 Prince Sign O The Times
78 John Williams Orchestra Olympic Fanfare
79 Big Audio Dynamite Just Play Music!
80 They Might Be Giants She's An Angel
81 Daryl Hall and John Oates Private Eyes
82 Frugal Gormets Satan's Blood
83 Randy Newman I Want You To Hurt Like I Do
84 Dukes Of Stratosphear Vanishing Girl
85 Martha and the Muffins Echo Beach
86 Crowded House Now We're Getting Somewhere
87 Prince Annie Christian
88 Police Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
89 Randy Travis Forever And Ever Amen
90 Janet Jackson Nasty
91 Kings This Beat Goes On; Switchin' To Glide
92 Go-Go's This Old Feeling
93 Julian Lennon Now You're In Heaven
94 Journey Don't Stop Believin'
95 Pete Townshend Let My Love Open The Door
96 Bangles Eternal Flame
97 Missing Persons Destination Unknown
98 Thomas Dolby She Blinded Me With Science
99 Neil Diamond America
100 Pink Floyd Another Brick In The Wall [Parts 1 & 2]

JackWayne said...

My Mom is 93 and in assisted living. They have entertainments regularly and it is music from WW2 to Korean War mostly. Most people, Althouse included, freeze their musical taste by 25. Imagine Althouse in a home, and all she hears is Cat Stevens and Dylan. Brrr!

MadisonMan said...

I think the ability to appreciate new music declines as your brain loses it plasticity with age. It's also harder to acquire a new language, and becoming familiar with new music engages (IMO) the same neural pathways. It's something to cultivate to exercise your brain. That said, there isn't a lot of new music worth listening to, but I do like Kacey Musgraves. A Shania Twain for 2020.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Check out this great version of Mr Tambourine Man by a group of young kids. I loved it.

http://americandigest.org/something-wonderful-the-starbugs-mr-tambourine-man/

Morgan said...

Now I've got that Cosmo Sheldrake song stuck in my head. The rhythm of the "Come Along" phrase reminds me of Ladysmith Black Mambazo's "Hello My Baby"

https://youtu.be/J85QrbR5oUE

Robert Cook said...

"I ought to care that a decade is about to end (in 17 days!)."

No, it's not. The decade will end at midnight on December 31, 2020, (just as the 20th Century ended at midnight on the last day of the year 2000).

Ken B said...

This is interesting. I am over 60, and I still like new music. But my main kinds of new music are modern minimalist influenced classical and music from before 1700.
For stuff you probably have not heard try Canto Ostinato by ten Holt or MGV by Michael Nyman or the Requiem by Cristobal de Morales.
Or, closer to home, the Trinity Requiem by Robert Moran, a wonderfully beautiful American piece less than 10 years old.

Ken B said...

A link to the Robert Moran I mentioned. http://kenblogic.blogspot.com/2014/01/trinity-requiem-robert-moran.html My blog has numerous Moran links.

Phil 314 said...

How does one do such a Top 100 list and what metric allows one to say song X is #56 and not #63?

Phil 314 said...

Now looking at first comment on this string and reminded of WABC and Cousin Brucey. Living in upstate NY I could get it at night. I would listen to Cousin Brucey going to bed and often wake up a couple hours later to static.

Robert Cook said...

"Not only is a decade just ten years, but it's blazingly obvious that, say, the 1970s is 1970-1979, just as the 1900s is 1900-1999."

Nope. You are entirely wrong.

Assume you're alive at the first decade to be designated as such. The first year is year one. The tenth year is year 10.

The first year of the second decade starts with year 11, and ends with year 20.

The end of the tenth decade is year 100. The first year of the next ten decades is year 101.

And so on, forever.

David Begley said...

Lloyd McCarter
Aaron Copeland - new album in January
Sunny Swinney
Jenny Tolman
Sara Evans
LeAnn Womack
Just about any artist at Buck’s in Venice.

rhhardin said...

The first decade started in 1 BC. You can see that by starting at the end of the first decade, 9 AD, and counting backwards.

rhhardin said...

Music of the 80s includes 1980 and not 1990.

RMc said...

Robert Cook said...
"I ought to care that a decade is about to end (in 17 days!)."

No, it's not. The decade will end at midnight on December 31, 2020, (just as the 20th Century ended at midnight on the last day of the year 2000).


Oh, God, not this again...!

Take it up with Dionysius Exiguus, Cook. (Arguing with you is the ultimate fool's errand.)

Phil 314 said...

And the song that epitomized that era and those AM radio stations was “Green Onions”

Bruce Hayden said...

Bunch of old farts here. Don’t worry about 69. Did that a couple months ago, and felt just the same the next day. The one I am worried about is 70. Can’t pretend that you are young anymore.

Because I am within several months of Ann in age, I often find it interesting to compare ourselves. When I first started reading her comment here, I thought that she was just a lot more aural than I, because she tends remember the music of our youth so much better. I just wasn’t into pop music back then (or later). Now, after better than a half century, I find even stuff that I really didn’t like that much at the time, now comforting. But I am not more visual than she either, given her hobby of photography, though I am quite visual in other, more abstract ways. But not when it comes to abstract painting either - old, old girlfriend from college and her late husband were decently successful abstract artists, and that really goes over my head. All that I can figure is that I am more disconnected from reality than most. Which is pretty much why I have been with the same woman now for better than 20 years - we have that in common.

My kid is way too much like me, and her mother isn’t much better. Both their significant others are more physical, at least, so they have some chance. We do have some exposure to newer music trends through my partner’s son, DIL, and grandsons, similar to that of M Jordan above, though not quite as much, mostly because they are by Tucson, and we are by PHX. And, of course, we have the usual DIL/MIL thing going on. We just don’t see them nearly enough, and DIL is just fine with that.

Thinking generationally, I was struck yesterday that the vocal Christmas music that we still hear most often at the malls comes primarily from the Greatest Generation, or thereabouts, though my favorite Christmas artist is still Karen Carpenter. Maybe I am sexist, but she is really the only female singer of Christmas music whom I like. I much prefer male artists. Someone above mentioned singing the Messiah in an all male choir. Did that a couple times decades ago, and that is hard to beat. That and the Battle Hymn of the Republic should be sung that way. Not surprisingly, I can’t convince any of the women in my life of this obvious truth.

Phidippus said...

Ken B: I am also fond of Robert Moran's work and have a recording of the Trinity Requiem. Have you heard his "Seven Sounds Unseen", based on some writings of John Cage?

I am still exploring the vast legacy of Western Classical music that we have inherited. Last week I heard two Schubert sonatas for the first time. Much of Shostakovitch's brilliant chamber music remains to be experienced.

Another little-known composer is Sylvius Leopold Weiss, a contemporary more or less of Bach, who wrote many wonderful pieces for the lute--a little heard instrument these days.

I'll never live long enough to get to know it all.

Francisco D said...

I think the ability to appreciate new music declines as your brain loses it plasticity with age. It's also harder to acquire a new language, and becoming familiar with new music engages (IMO) the same neural pathways.

You are pretty much right on target, but the age parameters are limited.

Music, Math and Language skills are best acquired before puberty because of what you described as the "plasticity" of the brain. (There are better ways to describe it, but much more complex). The appreciation of those areas probably does use the same neural pathways. Those pathways may deteriorate over time, but the biggest degradation is probably in middle age rather than hold age.

Ken B said...

Phidippus
Splendid. Yes, I know that Moran. I have been a fan of his for 25 years.
Weiss is wonderful. There are quite a few recordings of his lute music. I think you will find this of interest

http://kenblogic.blogspot.com/2018/11/

RBE said...

Now I know who sings that catchy tune! I'll create a pandora channel. I listen to #1 hits on XM to listen to newer music. There's some good stuff out there. My granddaughter loves the kids channel on XM. Lots of quirky and fun songs that have taken hold in my brain.

Phidippus said...

Congratulations and good luck to Shouting Thomas on working your way through the organ works of the incomparable Bach.

Ken B said...

More music new to most readers, Philip Glass for harp

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV2-zFh3tAU

(Do not miss this Phidippus)

RBE said...

ALSO Love Loggins and Messina then and now. Also used to listen to far off radio stations late at night during the 60's.

Bruce Hayden said...

Amazing how ignorant I am about music compared to almost everyone else here. Back better than a half century ago, in HS, I probably would have been voted one of the most likely to be a music aficionado in later years, having been in marching band, orchestra, and choir all the way through. Even played my French Horn through college (was dating a very talented flautist at the time). Nope. Not even close.

Robert Cook said...

"The first decade started in 1 BC. You can see that by starting at the end of the first decade, 9 AD, and counting backwards."

Yes, it started with year one BC and ended with year 10 BC.

The end of the year 9 is only nine years. A year is not complete until 12 months have ended. Year one is only a complete year at the end of the first 12 months. The first decade is complete only at the end of the firs 120 months. The first century is only complete at the end of the first 1,200 months. The millennium is complete only at the END of the first 1,000 years.

And so on, forever.

Robert Cook said...

"Music of the 80s includes 1980 and not 1990."

You're confusing language with numbers. Music of the 80s may refer only to music produced or release in years with "8" as part of their name, but the 80s--the eighth decade of any century--ends with the end of the year beginning 90.

Scott Patton said...

Jeff Beck has endured the recent decades very well.
It's hardly new (2008), but the "Live at Ronnie Scott's" is a recent favorite. If you like female vocals, Blanket, feat Imogen Heap is great (not really my thing, but still love it!).
Vinnie Colaiuta on drums - busy guy - check out his Wikipedia page - Zappa, Sting, Joni Mitchel, Streisand - 40 years... on and on. Touring and studio work.

MadisonMan said...

Whether or not the decade is about to end (my son has pointed out that a decade ends every second) at the end of this year, I think we can agree that the 2020s (!) start shortly.

RMc said...

Technically, any ten-year period is a decade; 2004-13 was a decade, as is 2010-19 or 2011-20.

But decades come in different flavours. Take the 60s, for example:

The seventh decade of the 20th century (ordinal decade) was 1961-70.
"The 1960s" was 1960-69.
"The Sixties" (nominal decade) was roughly 1964-72.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decade

When it comes down to it, though, these are just numbers. we can manipulate them any way we want.

jimbino said...

This decade won't end until the last day of 2020, since the first decade began with the year 1 and ended on the last day of year 10.

BUMBLE BEE said...

I grew up on THE tower of power CKLW, with Rosalie (yes, Bob's Rosalie). Also had the Grande Ballroom and WABX USA's first AOR FM station. Yes... "Heard It On The X", that one!` Grew up around the corner from the D's second largest black Baptist congregation. Oh the choir practices. The ladies in their fur stoles... and their hats. Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole, Big Band, swing. Saw Cream, first tour $2.50.
Not much but 70s country and blues and Mozart... Lotsa Beethoven too. Loved the Tubes.

Brian McKim and/or Traci Skene said...

RadioParadise.com is the worth looking into. It's programmed by an old bay-area hippie-type and it's programmed much like an old "underground" station from 1967 might have been, but with a lot of contemporary music. The playlist will swing from Elbow to Monk to Cat Stevens to the Mavericks to Ray Lamontaigne to Teardrop Explodes to Emmylou Harris to Adele to Glenn Miller. I find myself tolerating some of the more "mopey chick" cuts because I know there's going to be a song that forces me to drop what I'm doing so I can head to the living room to see the name of the artist and make a note to look into that artist (perhaps via Spotify) and listen to that artist's catalog a bit deeper. That's how I "discovered" Elbow and a few other current artists that I absolutely love.

As for country: I didn't start listening to a substantial amount of country until Elvis Costello's "Almost Blue" album came onto my radar, in 1982, when I was 25-ish. I then dove into Sun Records, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Carl Mann and others, helping me to develop an appreciation for that genre. I maintain that 1991 was the year that country peaked. It has not had more artists, cranking out more catchy and popular and solid pop tunes since.

I flirted with jazz in that era as well-- having heard Chet Baker for the first time... playing on an Elvis Costello song (again!) called "Shipbuilding," from 1983's "Punch The Clock." After seeing Ken Burns' "Jazz," I got into Monk. I then realized that I really dug "West Coast Jazz," and I bought some Monk, Chet, Paul Desmond, Dave Brubeck, etc. JAZZ! I actually liked jazz all along, but didn't know how to cut through the noise to figure out what kind! In my forties!

What kind of noise? Here's a "jazz critic" on Burns' documentary: "Ken Burns's interminable documentary, Jazz, starts with a wrong premise and degenerates from there... Burns is a classicist, who is offended by the rawer sounds of the blues, its political dimension and inescapable class dynamic."

Oh, shut the fuck up.

Finding new music was a chore when a handful of publications called the shots. In the wild, wild west of the WWW, it's easier to ignore the hype and just find what you like.

JackWayne said...

You know you’re different if you’re at a show and the closest person in age to you is about 40 years younger.

Scott Patton said...

Another holdout from over the recent decades, King Crimson live in Mexico City, "Indiscipline". Levin and Fripp are in their 70s.
They were on the comedy show "Friday's" ~'81 doing "Elephant Talk" & "Thela hun Ginjeet" with Adrian Belew... On brodcast TV.

Scott Patton said...

If anyone knows of any new artists that would be comparable to The Police in musical talent and artistic muscle, Id love to hear of it.

Marc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BUMBLE BEE said...

THE most under rated band of the 60's The Chambers Brothers. Lets see Police @ 70.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cPPYLe_Yuw

Saw 'em in 68... Time Has Come album at close range with Massive SUNN stacks. As polished as anything Motown put out. NOT in Hall of Fame.

Marc said...

There's exactly one tune in John's Top 10 I recognize, the Adele song.

My case, too; I do recognize the names of two or three other artists.

My own notion of 'listening to new music' is, for the most part, listening to new versions of works of the great composers e.g. Jordi Savall et alii's Novembre release of Handel's Messiah.

The Eugene Symphony performance of Saint-Saëns's Third Symphony on Thursday night was quite good. Hong Kong pianist Aristo Sham performed Prokofiev's Concerto no 3 before; technical perfection if not altogether brilliant playing: he's only 23. Am happy to report that many of the members of the audience were younger than I am.

I did almost look up Cosmo Sheldrake after seeing the name and hearing the snippet on TikTok, though.

Yancey Ward said...

I remember WOWO well. When I got my first radio at the age of 12, I spent time mapping out all the AM stations I could pick up late at night from my locale in the mountains of Pike County, KY- WOWO was one of them, and one of the clearer ones. I could, on occasion, pick up a station in Denver, CO- that was the most distant station I could firmly identify.

Yancey Ward said...

I have heard most of the songs in Althouse Jr.s top 100 list, but I don't like more than about 10 of them, and it isn't the case that I don't like a lot of modern music, but that I just don't have the same taste.

Char Char Binks said...

I’ve long wondered why the young, for whom everything is new, mostly want new songs, and the old, who should be sick of it already, cling to the familiar. Of course, it’s not about the music; pop songs are to music what wallpaper is to art. It’s about being part of some in-crowd, and self-image, among other things.

I used to wonder why the guys I worked with years ago never got sick of the classic rock station that was always blaring at work. I liked it at first, but quickly tired of it. I suppose they thought they were hip, but it showed how out of step they were were either the changing times.

Yancey Ward said...

My tastes in music formed around the music my Baby Boomer mother liked when she was growing up (she was born in 1948)- the things she listened to in the car's radio and tape player, and the 45s that she bought as a teenager (about 200 vinyl disks) that I started playing on a turntable when I was 8. I didn't really start listening to contempory music until I got that radio at the age of 12- the last half of 1978, and it really took hold when I first found Kasey Kasem's American Top 40 broadcasts on an FM station out of Huntington, WV right at the end of 1978. Basically, anything that was a Billboard top 40 hit from late 1978 until 1988 I can identify song and artist from just listening to the first 5 seconds, even if I haven't heard the song in 35 years- I literally slept with the radio on all night through the end of high school in 1984.

Tom T. said...

Cat Stevens is like Bob Dylan, in that whenever he sings about women, he seems to be really bitter or talking down to them.

Yancey Ward said...

To find new music doesn't require one to listen to contempory stuff- you can find stuff that is new to you from the past.

John henry said...

Again with the Chinese Tik-Tok.

I remember an article back in the early 70's about Sony plotting revenge for winning WWII by putting (mumble, mumble) in their television sets that would be set off all at once during Ed Sullivan killing 90% of the American population. Sure it was National Lampoon (or Mad or some other humor magazine) and it was not serious.

Seems like TikTok may have read that same article and thought "hmmm.... hold my beer"

I don't think American's should be using it. I know I am paranoid. I worry whether I am paranoid enough.



A “substantial security problem” and “tools for espionage” are not accusations one might normally expect to be leveled against a music-based social media app marketed to teenage girls. Yet these are just a few of the charges being made against TikTok by everyone from tech titans to senators and think tanks.

While many Americans are aware of TikTok — it has been the most-downloaded social media app in the United States for some time, beating out Instagram and Facebook — fewer know about its origins and ownership. The app was launched in 2017 by ByteDance, a Chinese tech firm. While TikTok itself is headquartered in Los Angeles, it ultimately answers to its parent company’s office in Beijing. As with all Chinese companies, ByteDance’s obligations to the Chinese Communist Party are murky: though ostensibly independent, its full cooperation is expected when needed to “maintain national security.” Whether or not China’s security concerns will mandate turning over data from Americans, now or in the future, remains to be seen.


John Henry

John henry said...

I remember back in the early 60s there were a bunch of clear channel stations that could be picked up 1,000 miles away. In Virginia I used to regularly listen to WBZ in Boston (Dick Sommer), WKBW in Buffalo (Joey Reynolds) WLS in Chicago (Dick Biondi), WWVA in Wheeling WV, WABC (WNBC?) in New York.

And, WOWO of course.

All on a cheap battery powered transistor radio.

Then, in 66, all over California, listening to Wolfman Jack blasting about a GW of signal from Mexico.

Good times, good times.

John Henry

John henry said...

WSM from Nashville, too. Home of the Grand Ole Opry.

John Henry

Michael K said...

The Eugene Symphony performance of Saint-Saëns's Third Symphony on Thursday night was quite good.

It doesn't get much better than Garanca and Carmen.

John henry said...


Blogger Shouting Thomas said...

Working for a different denomination. Their hymnal is entirely different from any other I've played.

Curious what denomination, ST.

I grew up Baptist, Presbyterian and Episcopal. Been Seventh Day Adventist for 30 years now.

Each has it own hymnal but it seems like there was a lot, perhaps 75% or more, of overlap between the hymns.

I find myself listening to less music as I grow older and much of what I do listen to is older and different from what I liked in my youth. Big bands from the 40s & 50's, Texas Swing, older country like Merle Haggard, Tom T Hall. Some classical. Joan Baez is about the only one of my teen and 20s faves that I still listen to regularly.

I mainly listen to podcasts and books when I am in the car by myself. No Agenda, Scott Adams, Penn's (Jillette) Sunday School, J. Vernon McGee, Tim Poole, Dan Carlin, Mike Duncan. A few others that Ann has recommended from time to time.

When my wife is with me, I have a USB with about 250 hymns, gospel, gospel, gospel-rock and similar tunes on it. I put it on shuffle and neither of us has gotten tired of it yet after several years. I also have a 4 volume set of music from the 40s and 50's on a USB that I play from time to time on really long drives.

John Henry

John henry said...

Blogger Shouting Thomas said...

Last night, I sang the Hallelujah Chorus in a huge old stone church with an all male choral group, accompanied by the local high school choir and brass band.

We had a septet do a song service at church this morning. This was one of the things they did. I sang along as well as I could. I never learned the words in Spanish and could not remember them in English. I could join in joyfully on the Hallelujah and really enjoyed it.

One of the things about a Spanish language church is the hymns. We use the standard SDA hymnal but with Spanish words. I keep wanting to sing some of the familiar hymns in English.

Probably doesn't really matter. Making a joyful noise unto the Lord describes my singing and that is what is important.

John Henry

John henry said...


Blogger RMc said...

Technically, any ten-year period is a decade; 2004-13 was a decade, as is 2010-19 or 2011-20.

To be really technical a decade is "a range of electrical resistances, frequencies, or other quantities spanning from one to ten times a base value."

Years are not very "technical", electricity/electronics is.

Also: "any group of 10 numbers is a decade."

(Per Bing)

John Henry


Michael K said...

More Garanca and Carmen. My favorite aria. She does not do as many operas now as she has a couple of young kids. She is gorgeous and with that voice.

Narr said...

Still going? I'll see if someone said it better and be back soon.

Narr
I hope

Narr said...

To me music is incomparably the greatest art form.

You can see what I've been listening to if you want-- I need to update the profile, but you'll get the gist.

When it comes to music, I think of Harry Truman (not the piano player but the historical philosopher) who is said to have remarked to the effect that the only new things are the old things you didn't know-- with a minimum of hundreds of years of Western classical music to hear, some of which I was exposed to early and often, I've barely skimmed the surface in
66 years.

I've still got shrinkwrapped volumes of Beethoven complete works vinyl somewhere, the old TL/DG subscription deal; even with new technologies I haven't heard everything--then again, I'm a repeater: depending on length, I might listen to a something I like three or eleven times in a row.

There are few musical genres I can't enjoy, but a lot I avoid.

Narr
I'd rather be listening to good music (especially live) in good company than almost anything else

Sgtpepper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crack Emcee said...

Howard said...

"The crack MC actually had a big influence on my reinvigoration of music I've never heard before. He's got quite an eclectic taste and that started me off on a long journey through Mingus and the great blues man of his era moondog and my favorite rapper of all time 900 foot Jesus. Liking the same music you did when you were young it's just giving up. You must be satisfied. Lost your appetite. However with this blog unsure and has plenty to chew on"

"THAT'S A BINGO!"

Honestly, Howard, thank you. That makes it all worth it. And I couldn't agree more.

I don't know what life would be without music, much less my life. I've had Tommy Dorsey's version of "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" following me around all day, and the Kids on all night, with Happy Feelings over lunch, and dining with God only knows what.

I don't know how anyone else stays sane without it.

Sgtpepper said...

Throat singing to Monteverdi to Robert Johnson to Miles Davis to the Beatles, everything after has been copied or is crap.

The Crack Emcee said...

BTW - I'm still entered in the DJ Dad Shirt Remix Contest taking place tomorrow in Las Vegas.

Wish me luck.

Phidippus said...

Narr @3:36 PM: Yes indeed. I still have my vinyl records, and enjoy them from time to time, especially the ones that not made it to CD (e.g. Claudio Arrau playing the Chopin Ballades on Phillips).

I enjoyed Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene" very much. Reading it, I felt that I was in the presence of an intellect of a different order that I am used to encountering.

Mencken, of course, was sui generis. I hope to meet him in Hell. We will have much to discuss.

Phidippus said...

RBE: "Also used to listen to far off radio stations late at night during the 60's..."

And baseball games. Whitey Ashburn and the Phillies. But they were local. Falling asleep with the little earphone and the radio under the pillow.

That's one thing AM radios are good for, getting distant stations. Dig around in the static for a while and you might find something interesting, from quite a long way off.

The Crack Emcee said...

Sgtpepper said...

"Throat singing to Monteverdi to Robert Johnson to Miles Davis to the Beatles, everything after has been copied or is crap."

Nah, you just have to stay interested and keep your ears open, and, pretty soon, the Throat Singers are combining with the Metal guys (?) and that guy who died early has a re-examination of his work or you just get totally blindsided by the unexpected in ways you never imagined.

I never did anyway.

I experience the epic every day.

Music is literally the joy of my life.

And that's not even counting the hard stuff ao really going international.

Just the stuff I can easily find at home.

Nichevo said...

my favorite rapper of all time 900 foot Jesus.

Yes, Howard, I meant to throw you a kudo for that. Cracky said a while back that he knows Mark Griffin and would ping him to see what was what with him but if he did I missed that post.